Crime and Courts

DC Police Identify Armed Woman Shot, Killed by Officer

The woman, Erica Graham, was wearing a special police officer uniform; police later said Graham was not registered as a special police officer

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D.C. police have released the name of an armed woman who was fatally shot by officers while she was wearing a special police officer uniform.

Police say they encountered the woman, 42-year-old Erica Graham of Northwest D.C., while responding to a shooting that injured another woman Saturday morning, police said.

Police say they believe Graham shot and wounded that woman, who was a neighbor.

Both women lived on the block of 800 block of Crittenden Street NW, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said. Multiple people called police to report a shooting on the block and officers responded about 6 a.m., Contee said.

The victim was found in a house. She had been shot at least once, Contee said. Officers gave her first aid, and she was taken to a hospital. The victim's injuries were not life-threatening.

Graham was on the front porch of another neighbor’s home. She was wearing a special police officer’s uniform showing a name that is not hers, Contee said. Graham was not a licensed special police officer in D.C., police said.

She was allegedly waving a gun and smashing windows, according to Contee and a police press release.


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Officers tried to engage with Graham for about a minute, including asking her to drop the firearm and get on the ground, Contee said. Police said she didn’t comply.

D.C. police fired at Graham, Contee said. Officers rendered first aid, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Graham appeared to have known the shooting victim.

“It appears that they are familiar with each other, but I’m not exactly sure why, at this point, why the special police officer shot the other neighbor,” Contee said over the weekend.

Police later said Graham was not registered as a special police officer. Special police officers are licensed by the city to provide services, such as working as security guards.

The woman whom police said was shot by Graham was struck in the arm. She remained in the hospital as of Sunday night.

People in the neighborhood told News4 they heard about five gunshots. A handgun was recovered at the scene, police said.

The area around the shooting was blocked off for the investigation, which included reviewing footage from home security cameras.

Police are also reviewing body-worn camera video of the incident. They are required to release the video within five business days of Saturday's shooting.

A woman who said she was Graham's best friend said Graham had three children and one grandchild.

The officer who shot Graham has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Saturday’s shooting erupted in a quadrant of the city already rattled by gun violence.

On Friday afternoon, four people were shot in a “sniper-style” attack in the city’s Van Ness neighborhood. The 23-year-old suspect was found dead in an apartment building on Friday evening, police said.

Three men were found shot later that evening at 7th and Kennedy streets NW, in D.C.'s Brightwood Park neighborhood, less than a mile away from where the police-involved shooting broke out Saturday. All three were taken to hospitals conscious and breathing.

When asked Saturday morning about the rash of violence, Contee praised the Metropolitan Police Department officers and said they likely prevented more people from being injured or killed in Van Ness and on Crittenden Street.

“It’s kind of hard to make sense out of senselessness. We know that when firearms are involved, that increases the security risk that we face when we’re out here doing our job. But the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department show up every day," Contee said.

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